Home Life 4 Steps to Prepare Yourself for Moving Homes: The Ultimate Checklist

4 Steps to Prepare Yourself for Moving Homes: The Ultimate Checklist

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They say that moving is the third most stressful life event, beaten out only by death and divorce—and some people would even say that moving’s worse than divorce. The right moving company can alleviate most of this stress.

So how do you find this company? Start by looking in the usual places: recommendations from friends or coworkers and a quick Google search. Create a list of 3-5 potential moving companies.

Now it’s time to dig deep and figure out whether those companies are right for you. Use the following checklist to screen them (items based on personal preferences are marked with an asterisk):

1. Legal Stuff

  • The company is aware of the Good Practice Guidelines for Canadian Movers and actively complies with them
  • The company has insurance to ensure that you aren’t held liable for any injuries on your property, and is happy to discuss the details/limits of this insurance
  • The mover charges GST
  • They accept forms of payment other than cash
  • The company offers Replacement Value protection to replace anything that goes missing, and is happy to share details including the amount that can be claimed, the time limit for claims to be made, and how the claims process works
  • The company does not require more than a 20% deposit
    Any required deposit is also fully refundable

2. Transparency

  • The company is willing to provide a free estimate and answer any questions
  • The company provides said estimate by coming to your home and assessing your belongings. Never accept an estimate over the phone, especially for long distance moves
  • The company provides a pamphlet with the free estimate that details the responsibilities of homeowners and movers, and is happy to clarify any points of confusion
  • The company is up front about what is actually included in their moving packages and what will cost extra
  • The company has their own equipment OR rents from a reputable company and is willing to disclose that company’s name
  • During long distance moves, the company keeps your belongings in secure locations overnight; they are eager to share this information
  • The company uses reputable storage services and is willing to disclose information about any contractors they work with
    When providing an estimate for a local move, the company includes the number of hours it will take
  • They provide a written contract that fully outlines what they are responsible for, what you are responsible for, the cost per hour or flat rate being charged, and the dates associated with the move

3. Effectiveness

  • The company measures all doors, including elevator doors, before they do the actual moving
  • The company wraps furniture before moving it
  • The company is used to working in different types of homes, and knows how to deal with challenges like narrow stairwells and elevators
  • The company also offers packing services*
  • The company also offers unpacking services*
  • The company has specific protocols for highly valuable and fragile items*
  • The company has been in business for at least one year

4. Reputation

  • The company has a good rating with their local Better Business Bureau
  • The company has good reviews/testimonials on third party websites (testimonials on the company website are carefully curated and will always be the very best)
  • The company works only with other contractors and companies that are highly respected
  • The company is able to provide letters of recommendation upon request

If a company matches all of this criteria but you still have a bad feeling, always go with your gut. You’re choosing a group of people to move your entire life. Above all else, they should be people you trust.

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